Toodling around Colony Farm Regional Park

Nic and I went to Colony Farm Regional Park looking for birbs and getting steps.

We accomplished both. Since I am using an iPhone 8 for my photos and its zoom capabilities can be summed up as “lol” I have no pics of birds to share.

But I do have a snail.

Here are some of the things I deemed worthy of taking pictures of.

Coquitlam River
Coquitlam River, looking south, with one of the spans of the Port Mann Bridge visible.
Spiky pink balls
Invasive but pretty tansy. These things grow in copious quantities along one of the trails.
The promised snail, happily sliming it up.
Man taking photo of man taking photo. Nic is wearing typically bright male plumage.
Marshland with technology lurking in the background.
Flowers of undetermined origin (I’ll edit this later when I’m not feeling lazy).
More tansies

Photo of the Day, June 27, 2020

Burnaby Lake special edition. Nic and I went to the lake so he could take pictures of birbs and when I gave him the option to go halfway around the lake or all the way, he went…all the way. We saw plenty of birds, but I stuck to subjects that didn’t move or require a telephoto lens.

Despite the ominous-looking clouds in the shots, the weather was pleasantly mild and it stayed dry.

Shot #1, my usual from the bridge at Deer Lake Brook:

Shot #2, with bonus lily pads:

A non-invasive berry:

Shot #4 from the rowing pavilion, which I had never been to before:

Nature walk: Stress reliever, stress inducer

I booked today off and went for a walk in the afternoon because it was pleasant out and I like pleasant things.

In The Truth Equation Neil Pasricha suggests doing one of three activities every day, for 20 minutes:

  • write in a journal
  • read fiction
  • walk among trees

Each activity is supposed to put you in a positive frame of mind, with the tree one working apparently because trees secretly spray you with feel-good chemicals or something. You know, like the spores in that episode of the original Star Trek, but les evil.

I ended up doing a full loop of Burnaby Lake and am a little pooped as a result, because I am soft and flabby. But it was nice.

And unnerving.

It was nice because the weather was warm but not hot, the breeze gentle and inviting. I stopped and took pictures (see below). It was everything Pasricha had promised in his book.

But of course, we are in the middle of a pandemic right now, so there are still signs all over asking everyone to stay 2 meters apart, don’t sneeze into each other’s faces and so on.

For stretches, especially the first few km, it was fine. There were few people out–it was a workday and most people, despite all the closures, are still working. But it is also a long weekend and others like me were obviously getting an early start. All good.

So, the walk was relaxing. Except when other people came by, because of the ones who passed me, there was exactly one small group of three that made an actual effort to make as much space as possible between them and me. Everyone else just walked straight by, as if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic.

Realistically, the chances of catching the virus while walking past someone outdoors is exceedingly small. I had no real need to be concerned. But it still created a tension that began to wear on me as I progressed around the lake. I even diverted temporarily onto the Freeway trail at one point just because I knew there would be few if any people walking it (there were a few cyclists, it turned out). But the Freeway trail is not very scenic and, being next to the freeway, is noisy. It’s the kind of trail you walk on if you have to, not because you want to. I returned to the Burnaby Lake loop at the second opportunity to do so and finished my walk.

Overall, it was fine. I get it, people are tired of walking on virtual eggshells, and of being cooped up all the time and being asked to stay home. Parks are one of the few public places that are open and available. But if what I saw today is an indication of how seriously people are treating physical distancing right now–well, let me say that I won’t be surprised if we see an uptick in cases in a few weeks.

On a more pleasant note, photos!

Burnaby Lake from the bridge over Deer Lake Brook
Buttercups and plenty of ’em
Wildflowers along Cariboo Place.
Another shot of the lake, with lily pads starting to cover the surface.

And finally, one last shot of the lake with the Metrotown towers in the distance and some god rays in the top left. At least I didn’t get my thumb in this one (something I’ve done several times recently for reasons unknown).

Photo of the Day, May 2, 2020

Actually taken on May 1st. Brunette River, with a heron that landed a few moments before I took this picture.

Here’s a cropped view that a) shows a closer view of the heron and b) demonstrates how smartphones generally suck at zooming in on things.

A walk through the plaguelands. Er, park

Nic and I went for a stroll around the southern half of Burnaby Lake today, taking pictures, enjoying nature and, of course, avoiding people.

The weather was mild, but cloudy and this probably scared a few people off. The majority of those on the trail seemed to be mindful to keep the 2 meters away, or at least as best they could manage, as much of the trail isn’t even 2 meters wide. There were a few dopes, of course, and a surprisingly large number of cyclists. The entrance to the park had a giant sandwich board in place basically saying TAKE YOUR BIKE ELSEWHERE. YES, YOU. But a lot of people are clearly ignoring these signs, perhaps because they think there is no enforcement right now–which may be true, as I did not see any park people or vehicles.

I did see greenery, water and ducks, some of which are below.

First, the standard shot of Burnaby Lake, taken from the bridge at Deer Lake Brook. You can see the baby lily pads popping up all over, as well as the general greenery filling in along the shore.

Next is the little pond adjacent to the lake with a partially sunken log that is popular with ducks. The pond is smaller than usual as we haven’t had much rain for a few months. But the ducks were still there.

This pond is nearby to the other one and nicely captures the fact that the area around the lake is marshland.

And there were a number of these signs dotting the sides of the trail reminding us that we live in COVID times. As I said above, people were generally pretty good about not getting elbow to elbow, though there’s always a few dingbats out and aboot.

Nic was using his telephoto lens to capture amazing shots of birds. Meanwhile I managed this with my iPhone 8:

If I crop as much as I dare, you can see this:

It’s not great, but at least you can tell they are birds. They preened for a bit, then took off, probably because we were standing there staring at them.

Overall, it was a nice outing and the cloudy weather likely worked to our benefit, keeping crowds down. It would have been great running weather, so I may vow yet again to try next weekend to get off the treadmill and into nature and all that.

A tranquil bit of nature in the midst of urban sprawl

I like that I live in an urban area of over 2 million people and yet in 15 minutes I can walk from my place and listen to the quiet burbling of the Brunette River. Well, quiet at the moment. In the winter it can get a bit animated.

Note: If you look closely you can see a freight train rolling by in the background.

A stroll around (half of) Burnaby Lake

Yesterday Nic and I took a break from the pandemic to stroll around and take pictures at Burnaby Lake, roughly up to the halfway point before taking the SkyTrain back. Ironically, social distancing was far easier on the SkyTrain (virtually empty) compared to the trails at the lake, as it was sunny, mild and packed with people. And ducks. And pigeons. And poopmonsters.

Here are a few pics I took along the way with my iPhone 8. Nic’s DSLR with a telephoto lens that could double as a murder weapon took better close-ups, but hey, you work with the tools you have. These pics are still better than what my vintage 2008 digital camera could do.

Still Creek being true to its name .

Looking west over the lake, not a lilypad in sight.

Fungus in the forest.

And the obligatory duck picture taken at Piper spit: